Category sf

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Science Fiction Senses

When I was younger, a lot of my science fiction dreams were about alien species,  and I was obsessed with the idea of aliens having different senses than ours. The problem is that making up a new sense (“We perceive things through fleen”) is not very interesting. What does it mean to have a sense […]

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Flying Cars and the Social Comedy

The Social Comedy is a 1902 collection of cartoons from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, apparently culled from Life magazine. The cover is strange — two geese rampant flanking a crown, dollar sign, and heart — but the contents are pretty much what you’d expect from the time: gag panels the way they […]

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Fake Geek Girls

The article du jour about Fake Geek Girls has, I think, its heart in the right place, but is nevertheless spectacularly wrong in all its particulars, like someone trying to refute flat-earthers by citing the Pythagorean perfection of spheres. Four years ago John Scalzi wrote the (somewhat more venomous and self-aggrandizing) ur text from which […]

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Science Fiction and Social Justice

The kerfluffles in science fiction are probably as old as fandom itself, but they’ve taken on a different tenor in recent years. Whether major ones like the Hugo hijacking or the delovecrafting of the WFA, or minor ones like “Elizabeth Bear says something,” the conflicts generally come down to a struggle between two groups, groups […]